Last-minute comeback secures Raptors’ record-setting winning streak
In dramatic NBA fashion, the Raptors secure a 12-game winning streak, the longest of all major Toronto sports teams.
The Blue Jays have won 11 consecutive games, the Maple Leafs’ longest streak is 10 games and the Argonauts tie the Leafs with 10.
The Raptors had won 11 in a row only twice previously in franchise history back in 2016 and 2018.
It was not an easy match up when the Raptors faced the Pacers Wednesday night, but the Raptors managed to squeak by with a 119-118 victory.
It didn’t look good for the Raptors in the fourth quarter.
It seemed like their winning streak was going to come to an end, but this team has pulled off miracles before.
The most impressive miracle being the 30-point comeback victory over Dallas in December.
That was the largest comeback in franchise history and the biggest in the league in a decade.
“We’ve said this before during this win streak: we haven’t played great all the time but we keep finding a way and that’s a heck of a characteristic to have,” said Raptors Head Coach Nick Nurse.
After being up by 10 points at the end of the first quarter, the Raptors found themselves down by 14 at halftime.
They were trailing behind the Pacers for the entire second half, but thanks to some last-minute heroics, the Raptors succeeded in breaking the record.
“We play 48 minutes,” said Lowry. “That’s how we play. We give ourselves a chance.”
Serge Ibaka made the winning 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in the game.
Thankfully for the Raptors, the Pacers could not get a shot off in the remaining seconds.
In the end, Toronto closed the match on an 11-0 run.
“You have to give them credit,” said Ibaka about the Pacers. “They did a great job on defence and on offence they were making shots. But, one thing about this team is we don’t give up.”
Ibaka clutched a season-high with 30 points on 13-for-21 shooting from the field, but Kyle Lowry led the way in points for the Raptors.
Lowry finished the game with a double-double, 32 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds.
“We do what we gotta do to win the basketball game, no matter what it takes,” said Lowry.
Since winning the NBA Championship title last season, all eyes have been on the Raptors to see what they will do next.
There was a lot of doubt surrounding the team after losing Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard when he signed with the L.A. Clippers in free agency.
Many predicted the Raptors would struggle this season and were not expected to make the postseason.
Even with all the injuries and adversity, the Raptors are second in the eastern conference and the team continues to break franchise records.
“This tells you how good we are, and how tough we are,” said Ibaka. “Even with injuries, we don’t find excuses, we keep working hard and we keep giving everything.”
Just last week, Lowry became Toronto’s all-time assist leader and is currently eight points away from being the third franchise all-time scorer.
The Raptors will be looking to extend their winning streak to 13 on Friday, when they face the Indiana Pacers again.